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Such Waste!
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Kathy Seven Williams - ALWAYS WRITE
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: "Is That All There Is?" (by Peggy Lee)
Topic: Family
That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger The trouble is you don't always know the difference. The past month has been the most difficult days for determining direction I have experienced to date.

First there was the aforementioned phone call from son-Bill telling me of his head-on crash that totaled his truck and somehow defied the laws of physics and total him. (See the Rolly Polly Face Blog below.) Bill is back to work at the office rather than with the computer on his lap in his living room. He's still struggling through the terrible headaches and remaining injuries from the crash, but he's getting on with life, stronger, in a new truck. (See his blog about that)

So just about the time I was finding some equilibrium sans Librium over the thought of Bill being way too far away in Georgia, I saw my Nephrologist and was hit, OK slammed, with the news he was going to be sending me to the Dialysis unit over at the hospital in the next couple of months. WHAT? My labs changed all THAT MUCH since I saw him last back in the winter when he had said I had nothing to worry about until they got much worse. What was he talking about? Well, OK I was closer to the edge than I might have been otherwise, and I just went back into that now-familiar state of shock I'd just so recently left.

I suppose I should say here that I had talked with another doctor in town a few years ago, and had pretty much bought into that discussion of dialysis as being no quality of life to settle for. Well, I'm not feeling anywhere close to being dead presently, so I found myself in what could truly be called a quandary.

When I got around to breathing calmly and thinking somewhat rationally again I started Googling and Yahoogrouping until I found some answers. Although way too much is written about keeping a positive attitude and way too little about the task analysis of what dialysis is all about, a good man on the yahoo ESRD list went to the trouble of posting a real-life video that set my mind at ease. It doesn't look fun, but it most certainly looks very doable. So at peace with that change of philosophy, I got back to my doctor and he threw the book at me the lab test book that is. So I'm now getting numbers to quantify everything we could possibly think of, and he'll take those back to the Nephrologist and find out what's really up or down as the case may be. That all came about this past Monday afternoon. And so on I go, getting stronger and stronger as my kidneys get weaker and weaker.

Posted by wa2/do2be at 8:29 PM EDT
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Friday, July 28, 2006
Topic: Family
Thursday, July 27, 2006 Current mood: worried It Doesn't Take Dynamite... There's probably a quiet little recording in the back of every mom's mind of her child's voice in a crisis. And you hope never to hear that little voice in real life. But when Bill phoned on his barely working cell phone Saturday evening, I knew that voice immediately and the bottom fell out of my world.

I know now why man created god in his own image - it was to have someone to thank when the Universe cushions the blow and saves your child from certain disaster if not death. From the first day you send them out on their own to play with a neighbor or walk to school the last thing you say on parting is "I love you," just in case it's the last thing you get to say to them. You warn them about watching out for weirdos because they're out there and there's not a thing you can do about them. And you hold your kids in your heart every moment of their lives and still you can't protect them from the shit that happens out there. And so when they are protected, you thank the universe or your god or their Karma or something because you sure didn't do it for them when it came right down to it. You couldn't do anything for them when it came right down to it. Well, maybe, if the universe was listening. If the god was watching. Maybe you absorbed some of the craziness through your love or at least can pretend so and hope so.

So what is motivating? What gets a tired, sickly old mom moving like there was no tomorrow? The fear there may be no tomorrow. All it took was Bill saying two words, "subdural hematoma" and I was in a gear I didn't know I had. While he was waiting in the ER for results from his CAT scan I did two loads of laundry, packed for at least two weeks, chartered an airplane to take me to Seattle where Delta would fly me to Atlanta in a matter of hours. Finally the call came. Bill's brain was OK though going to hurt him for some time. And he wanted me to wait and come back when he was feeling better so we could play. So I thanked my pilot, unpacked my luggage, and followed all Bill's friends links on My Space to be sure he had enough friends around him to cushion the pain he'll have the next several weeks. He has. He has Nicki and Lisa and Robbie and so many more.

Thank you friends! Thank you Universe!

Posted by wa2/do2be at 9:04 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 31, 2006 6:09 PM EDT
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Girls' Day in Canada
Now Playing: Poor Little Fool? not sure...
Topic: Family
If the Slipper Fits…

I’ve been conned. I just discovered it’s all been a huge conspiracy and I bought into it, hook, line, and sinker, and there’s no turning back now. I’m stuck with it and those who perpetrated this farce on me are now going to benefit from their dastardly deeds because I’m so good at solving problems and taking care of whatever comes up to be taken care of that I’ll look after them and step in to help with whatever is needed.

What on earth am I talking about? My independence, my ability to do it all, my success at being better at whatever I tried than anybody around me so that I could be allowed to do half as much. I bought into it totally. The people I loved and trusted most kept telling me how much they loved me and how hard it was for them to stand back and watch me struggle, but that they were doing me a favor and I’d thank them later.

Well, folks, it’s later, and now the game has come full circle and a little more. Now those people who never let me use my blindness as an excuse to avoid something that was hard for me to do, those dear people are now finding their own stumbling blocks. They are aging, and believe me; aging is not for the faint at heart. So now, these people who never let me back away from a challenge are facing their own challenges. And do I have a generation of parents charging into old age with determination and gusto? Not quite. Do I have parents who won’t be stopped by anything? Not quite. Nope, my parents are just like the rest. They complain and moan about how hard it is to get up from the couch, walk down the stairs, climb onto the bus, or walk to the car. Oh, but they know all about using whatever it takes to make life work better. They encouraged me to use my white cane and guide dogs even though everybody stared. They told me what other people thought didn’t matter when people made rude remarks about how I had to read with nose on page or had to feel for the bathroom sign to know if it was for men or women. Well, where is all that understanding and forward thinking now that it is they who have to adjust to new ways of getting by and getting on with life?

Mom enthusiastically prodded me to make big plans for a girls day in Canada while my step-sister was visiting. Would my mother gracefully buy a needed walker? No, she’d rather not go because she says she walks too slowly with her support cane and will hold us up. As if we were in a race to enjoy our day playing tourist.. If I’d done that she’d have let me have it. I bullied her into coming along and let her borrow my walker for the day making do myself with her support cane. She did wonderfully so I gave her the walker. Was she excited with the new found freedom and success? No, she was worried that she’d have too much trouble getting it into the car. “I could just spit!” to quote mother of earlier years.

My step-dad has such a stiff let now he can hardly stand up from his chair let alone walk out of the restaurant to the car again. Going to Canada was out of the question which is what made it a “girls’ day” in the first place. Will he see a real doctor to find out what is going on and what might be done about it? No way. He goes to a chiropractor who hasn’t made it better in months in spite of Dad’s reports to the contrary. He’d rather not go with us than deal with this crippling condition. Maybe he’s glad to have the excuse not to goalong. I don’t know. But he’d have never let me make such excuses to avoid doing anything. When my first husband moved out, instead of help with maintaining the house, I was given a tool box with what I’d need and a do-it-yourself book (in small print) to deal with it myself. My dad expected me to do it, so I did.

I’m realizing that all the pushing done to make me so damn capable and successful wasn’t done out of love, for my benefit. It was done because nobody knew what else to do. If I couldn’t figure out how to do what the other kids did, they’d have had to deal with that. How much simpler to just make me figure it out and send me on my way. How much easier to push me to be like all the other kids than to accept they had a blind child who was different. My father never did let me be blind; he just bullied me into pretending I could see. And I bought into it and did it. I succeeded in doing it all, anything that came along.

Now that the cane is in the other hand, nobody wants to be seen with a cane or
a walker or whatever it takes to keep going in this world. Suddenly the shoe for the other foot is a glass slipper and it doesn’t fit anybody.

Posted by wa2/do2be at 6:59 PM EDT
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
You Really Can't Go Home Again
Mood:  surprised
Topic: Family
Back from California, and boy was I ever surprised. All those reminders I was expecting to have prompt reams of memoirs just didn't happen. I saw old friends in new settings as new versions of these people, and enjoyed the people we all are now, but the past was pretty far back to even peek at.

I stayed at the hotel where DH#3 (Jay) and I spent our honeymoon, but I was put in a newer wing and it happened to be just up the hall from where DH#2 and I had stayed once which I had mercifully totally forgotten. There was a brief moment of breathless panic when I walked into the room, and a few more memories in the middle of the night when I discovered the poor sound insulation was really no better though the desk clerk swore it had been fixed. Nope, Bam Bam and Thumper were bouncing off the head board in great detail still after all these years. I remembered how Mike and I had laughed at the sound show years before. But it was just my hotel room in a place under construction, and no more or less.

Helping my step-mother, Sal, pack up her apartment where I had lived as a teen and she has lived for the past forty-some years was almost a disappointment. There was no nostalgia there at all. I didn't feel anything of all the great times I had as a teen there. I remembered some few bad times strangely enough, but nothing really important. I was unhappy with the physical changes made by subsequent owners of the place since I moved out...missing shrubs and trees and the like. But it wasn't my home, it was just where Sal's belongings had gathered years of dust and had to be packed up, and taken to the beautiful new house.

We went to town, now more Carmelle by the freeway than Claremont by the colleges. Dinner and lunch at a couple of the old places turned new yuppie cafes was disappointing. We drove by my college dorm and saw buildings that hadn't been thought of when I was in school. I thought of friends and kind of wished I had the stamina to walk there alone, but had to accept being driven by Sal as the closest to the past I was going to get, and there wasn't much there to get close to. I can draw out some connections, but didn't need to be there on the sidewalk where I lived to bring them back. Sal had a picture of me and DH#1 - we were so young and so cute. She didn't even know he moved out the day I graduated and she gave a party for one of my dad's graduating students instead of for me. Memories often don't matter it turns out.

So the best part was seeing the present. My sister now has the horses although I was the one who loved to ride. She's got a dozen or so racehorses and the babies are darling, and she's so fun to watch teaching them to eat carrots. She had 3foundling dogs racing around her million dollar home - nice to see her falues all in line in spite of the big bucks.

My nephew, Darnell, has been the one to see Sal through her remodeling and move to her new home. For that he deserves the honors of the universe and more credit than he’ll ever probably receive. He reminds me of son-Bill in many ways, and I always really enjoy seeing him. He’s made a lovely home for himself and his two dogs are a hoot! Brownie, the Mastiff has the biggest dog house I’ve ever seen.

And so it went seeing family members I’ve not seen for ages and seeing how they were carrying on nicely with their lives. My best friend's parents (from high school years) are still in their same home,and visiting them there was the closest to a time machine experience I found on the whole trip.

So I'm back with no new great ideas for writing, exhausted, but glad I made the trip and found I'm so well grounded in the present after all.


Posted by wa2/do2be at 2:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 4:46 PM EDT
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Monday, February 6, 2006
I Do Believe I've Had Enough
Mood:  down

Rain, Rain go away!

Posted by wa2/do2be at 11:45 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 1:38 PM EDT
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Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Re: Should I Apply For Job As A Writer?
Mood:  sharp
Now Playing: "Those Were the Days"
Topic: In Reply
Trading credentials, I am a retired Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor/Teacher. Since retiring I have also earned my MS in English as a technical writer. So it's probably fair to think you might take what I say with two grains of salt at least.

If you are asking whether or not you should apply for the job, you probably don't need to bother. And with your experience and wisdom I think you already know that. The jobs we get are the jobs we can picture ourselves doing; the jobs we already own where the application process is just paper work. When you picture yourself working with people like SYT you want to throw up. When you consider yourself putting your all into a field that has deteriorated into sound bites of thirty seconds or less and mind bites of single syllable simplicity you dissolve into hopeless wailing. If the job opening is anywhere within a hundred miles of the type of writing SYT represents run away, run away, and be afraid. Be very Afraid.

That said, what then do you do? I see two options immediately at hand. You can either change your self-image until you squeeze down into the present-day version of a writer, and then go for it. Or you can keep looking for that needle-in-a-haystack publication where real writers still write, and present yourself to them with pride and expectation. Ah, another option just fluttered by. You could do both, second option first. I read more books than periodicals, but what I read tells me that the New Yorker isn't the New Yorker any longer and that the art of writing has all but become road kill on the side of the Information Highway. I fear you are going to have to make some value adjustments down, way down, before you can snuggle into a place in the pages comfortably. But I could be wrong.

Analysis aside, apply for the job. Bob Dylan once said, "When you ain't got nothin' you've got nothin' to lose." Miracles still happen. It could be a match after all.

Posted by wa2/do2be at 9:03 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2006 10:15 AM EST
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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Mood:  on fire
Now Playing: "Is That All There Is?"
Topic: Such Waste!
What is it that makes us go so far over the top to live up to some artificial version of how things should be for a given day out of 365?

Here I sit alone in my humbug corner refusing to do what I'm told by Hallmark and Wallstreet to perform my part in the play. I am content With my year-round Christmas Bear windsock indoors until the storms pass, and my token Calico tree stuffed behind the pictures on the mantle so nobody feels sorry for me and kills a real one in my name to bring it to me, (A lesson I learned too late to spare one tree one year). I stand apart and watch friends and family literally making themselves sick this glorious season as they try to live up to whatever they are taught, told and sold is expected of them. From spending way more than they have to staying up all night because they must "put the bows on all the packages" I hear reports of behavior that most of these same good folks would call nuts any other time of the year.

I think what amazes me most though is the process we follow to set ourselves up for such disappointment at holiday time. What is this scripting we do in advance of events wherein we create the whole scene in our minds ahead of time in such detailed expectation it cannot possibly satisfy in reality? A good friend is taking his son to learn to snowboard this week-end. In telling me of their plans he was relating the schedule in such detail as to tell me what they'd be ordering for breakfast from McDonald's on their way to the slopes and how the kids would feel when they stood up after lunch to what would be said on the ride home. Now there's no way on earth that the reality of this week-end is going to match his plan. And I'm afraid he's going to miss the reality of it watching for what he's decided it's going to be in advance. I realize this is an extreme case, but we all do it to one degree or another. While watching for our expectations we miss our reality. Why?

Posted by wa2/do2be at 11:30 PM EST
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: Such Waste!
I can't believe the waste in this world! I am too overwhelmed right now to talk about it, so will go to my favorite place and just withdraw from it all for awhile.

Posted by wa2/do2be at 8:48 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:01 PM EDT
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Thursday, September 1, 2005
Aunt Donna Comes to Sequim
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Donna and Paul
Topic: Family

I never would have recognized Donna if she hadn't been with the boys. It's been over 30 years since I've seen her. What fun for the families to be able to get together for the afternoon!

Posted by wa2/do2be at 8:58 PM EDT
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Long Time No See
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Tom and John Lewicki
Topic: Family

Seems to me the last time I saw these guys was in 1973 when I was in Illinois on my way to New York City. Kind of fun to realize relative banter is genetic. We talked and teased and had a fine visit.

Posted by wa2/do2be at 8:38 PM EDT
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